Tata's marriage with Starbucks: a new coffee feel

Mumbai, Jan 14: For a country that has grown up drinking filter coffee or in shanty little coffee shops, India is all set to enter the big league and drink the unassuming coffee with a lot of style and panache in phoren style.

Tata Coffee has roped in the iconic coffee chain Starbucks to jointly source and roast the beans from its plantations, which in turn would pave the way for the American coffee brand to enter the domestic market six months down the line, finally.

"This is a non-binding, strategic agreement between us and Starbucks Coffee Company for regional cooperation, and does not involve a joint venture arrangement. The American firm is also free to contract others for beans. The MoU involves joint sourcing and roasting of the world-class coffee beans from our Coorg (Karnataka) plantations," Tata Coffee chairman RK Krishna Kumar told PTI. Tata Coffee''s green coffee beans from its Coorg plantations are known for high-quality and aroma.

The MoU was signed by the Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and Starbucks officials yesterday, Jan 13.

It can be noted that the Seattle-based Starbucks, which is the world''s largest and the most iconic coffee chain, has been planning to enter the domestic market for the past five years. The agreement with Tata Coffee will enable it to now speed up its retail plans in the country.

As to associating with Starbucks in its retail foray, which Kumar expects to happen within the next six-seven months, he said, "we have not taken any call on that and have not thought about any tie-up too. But we are not averse to the idea. Finding the right location is the biggest problem for Starbucks."


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